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The problem with escorts, \"photographers\", and \"models\".
Old 08-20-2005, 11:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am vexed, disgusted, and entertained by the thought of a model bringing an escort, chaperone, body guard, security, or another person for the sole purpose of a model's sense of security. Here is why, and pay close attention to the quotation marks:

Models, despite the common stereotype are at least average, and in most cases well endowed with common sense and intelligence. Read the forum posts for proof of my observation. Models don't need an escort because they use common sense and good judgement when they decide who they will work with. When a model checks references, communicates by email and phone--and discovers warning signs with a "photographer", the shoot is off. The model also seems to have a sixth sense which identifies "photographers" as Gentelmen With Camera equipment.

However, when a "model" discovers red flags and potential problems with a "photographer", they will opt to bring another person to the shoot instead of cancelling. The "model" will bring a chaperone, escort, security, or body guard, depending on the number and intensity or the warning signs. Only "models" willingly place themselves in a situation that makes them fear for their own safety so much that they would need to bring an escort for protection. Unlike the model, "models" are drawn to "photographers" like moths to a flame...

If a "photographer" has an uterior motive or is psychotic, another person isn't security, but instead another victim. A "photographer" has time to formulate a plan to deal with escorts or body guards, and they will probably enjoy making that plan as much as they will executing it. In fact, they might even thank the "model" for bringing the extra person along.

Then there is the Security Dilemma, which is usually applied in political science, but fits aptly to this discussion. When a "model" brings security, or arms herself, the photographer will in theory do the same to have the advantage. So, if a "model" brings a body guard, the "photographer" would be inclined to have assurance that his hidden agenda is not hampered in any way. A photographer on the other hand, will likely cancel the shoot with a model that is displaying warning signs of starting a cold war in the studio.

Personally, I have no objections if a model brings someone else with them to a shoot. I object if the "model" feels unsafe, in which case I don't want to work with them anyway. I object because they didn't do their research and check up on me to discover I am likely the person they should feel safest with. In fact, I'm better security than nearly anyone who usually fills the role of an escort.

When a model goes to a shoot, she feels completely comfortable going alone. When a "model" doesn't feel comfortable, that is a warning sign itself is dealt with by a false sense of security. Common sense and good judgement dictate if you feel a need for an escort, something isn't right and so cancel the shoot! Check references, use common sense, and don't do anything that insticts suggest is unsafe. Bring a makeup artist if you just want a witness. I don't know of any photographer (note lack of quotation marks) that will object to a MUA at the models expense...
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Re: The problem with escorts, \"photographers\", and \"models\".
Old 08-21-2005, 12:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Personally, I have no objections if a model brings someone else with them to a shoot. I object if they "model" feels unsafe, in which case I don't want to work with them anyway.

[/ QUOTE ]

The UNANNOUNCED arrival of a 'chaperone' happened to me on only one occasion. The model was unhappy, the 'chaperone' (boyfriend) was quickly acting uncomfortable, and I did my best to go about my task in as workmanlike a manner as possible. I've since wondered if I should have been more 'miffed' than I was at the time. Glad to hear your thoughts on the topic.
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Re: The problem with escorts, \"photographers\", and \"models\".
Old 08-21-2005, 02:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My first model shoot, she brought an escort with her, who happened to be her friend of many years. He was completely cool. He and I got along great. All three of us were about the same age, had similar interests, and everything. I never once felt like she felt uncomfortable (and afterwards she confirmed my feelings by telling me so). In fact, I consider both of them my friends now.

However, I think if she were feeling uncomfortable, than I'd be feeling uncomfortable, and that wouldn't be too cool, let alone good for the shoot... which is another reason I guess you wouldn't wanna shoot with someone like that in the first place, right? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I think if a model brought "security" or a weapon with her or something that would heighten the tension around you, and would make for an uncomfortable shooting experience, to say the least.

Sam
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a little confused, a suggestion
Old 08-21-2005, 02:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well you lost me on a lot of that, but I think it started with the "model" premise. It sounds like you assume that all women who want to model, or want to call themselves models, somehow develop a sixth sense that will protect them. I can tell you after 25+ years of this business, that "models", whether they be newbies or pros, are not always as careful as they should be, and do not always possess this sixth sense you seem to think they do. Yes, a rookie unknowingly going to pose for a GWC (or maybe BTK?) could bring a couple of bodyguards and still be in trouble, but working with an experienced and reputable photographer can be just as much trouble. An example would be my friend Linda Sobek, who was murdered ten years ago by a photographer she knew, trusted, and had worked with before, Charles Rathbun.

Obviously the chances of something that extreme happening are rare, but all women, especially models, should take whatever precautions they deem necessary to feel as comfortable in a given situation (and yes, being comfortable is absolutely necessary for a sucessful photo shoot). Whether they recognize that a particular situation requires extra caution or not, is something they have to learn over time, the same as anyone, female or male, single or in a group, depending on the circumstances and their environment. While so one can be protected from all dangers all the time, you do the best you can. As a photographer, I have no objection to a model bringing an escort until she feels comfortable with me or the situation, although at some point it can become impractical. Also, I think the level of concern goes down as the size of the crew goes up. On a movie set, or a film studio casting office, there's obvioulsy less concern. I always have a MUA and usually an assistant, but there are times when its just been me and the model. Speaking of which, what's the difference between taking the model on a one-on-one photo shoot at my house, and taking her out to lunch? For that matter in the rest of the world, how about a dating situation where they're alone for a whole evening? Anyone have the stats on how many dates end up with some sort of assault?

I have a trick I've recommended to models who have to work alone (after all, in a place like LA with so much opportunity, how many castings and jobs can an escort really be available for?). As the model walks into the casting or the shoot or whatever, or shortly thereafter, she "calls" someone on her cellphone: it could be anyone, or no one, or her voicemail, and leaves a message about who she's with, where, and for how long. If done casually (and within earshot of the photographer), the photographer has no idea whether anyone will really get the message or not, and if he did have any ulterior motives, would probably think twice. An alternative, though less reliable, is to have someone call the model a few minutes after she walks in the door, and let her give this info to them ("Oh, I'm at Andy's, we're going to shoot at the beach until sunset...."). There are even some phones that will ring after ten minutes to make it look like you're getting a call, in case you need an excuse to leave a meeting or something. (I'm not kidding). I think any model going anywhere on a shoot should always make sure someone (her agent, family, roommate?) really does know where she is, but this little phone trick could be just a little preventative.

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio

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Re: The problem ... with safety for all
Old 08-21-2005, 06:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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HEY!! i thought I wuz the only "photographer" around who is so stuPid to not try anything (but fotos) with models, that i would be the SAFEST one around for them to shoot with?!¬Ņ¬°

thar's others too??? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
 
 
Re: a little confused, a suggestion
Old 08-21-2005, 07:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Andy, I don't think you got too confused by my tounge-in-cheek description of "models", the counterpart to the GWC.

What I was trying to convey is that the concept of an escort is flawed. What is the girl afraid of? Being assaulted, raped, or killed? If a person is planning and is capable of any of these criminal acts, an escort isn't going to help. What would help is a girl trusting her instincts and using common sense. The models "no quotation marks" I discussed don't have a sixth sense. They have common sense that we all have, but they actually apply it.

I find it comical that these girls, or "models" will go to a shoot that makes them fear for their safety or life just because some cash is involved and they have and escort who can't even leap a tall building in a single bound. SImply put, if a girl feels the need for an escort, she is afraid, and she should listen to her instincts and cancel the damned shoot.

Although I am aware of the Sobek case, I don't have intimate knowledge of the case. I don't know if an escort would have helped her or not, but I would say in most similar cases, it wouldn't. People like Rathbun can easily murder two people just as they can one if they want to.

The cell phone trick is a good one, but there is no reason the model shouldn't actually call a real person. But in the real world, if the GWC has sinister plans, he really doesn't care who is waiting or is going to miss the girl.

Basically, what it all comes down to is if a model doesn't feel comfortable, she will cancel the shoot. An girl wanting attention will ignore common sense and her instincts and get an escort instead.
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Re: The problem with escorts, \"photographers\", and \"models\".
Old 08-21-2005, 10:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, I personally think a modle has a right to bring someone elce until she gets use to the photographer. Man their are alot of pervs on the web and even folks who are not so enclined in their normal lives can turn where the web is concerned. I don't know what it is about the web, but the autonomy of the beaste seems to turn normal people into weard people. So get to know your models and let them know you.

If the escort tries to get to involved in the shoot cancel it right then and send them packing.

Stock Photo Site
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Re: The problem ... with safety for all
Old 08-21-2005, 12:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Andy,

Great suggestion on having the model make a call. Those around him/her do not need to know if they are actually talking with someone or just a voice mail. Though I would suggest they turn down their volume so the entire world does not hear it (I hear sooooo many cell phone conversations due to volumes being louder than the Shuttle lifting off).

David
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Re: The problem with escorts, \"photographers\", and \"models\".
Old 08-21-2005, 02:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I often find that the escorts can be quite valuable. They can move lights, touch up the model's make-up, move lights, get things from the car, move lights, and so on. Did I mention move lights? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Anyway, I think it can be a positive experience. When I'm photographing a new model, I always feel more comfortable if I have an escort to.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: The problem with escorts, \"photographers\", and \"models\".
Old 08-21-2005, 03:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Awesome post...another one for my "favorites"! I agree with all of it, man! You know, I see this coming to a head eventually. Like the Showdown at the OK Corral! And its sad, because we, as photographers need models, and they, likewise(whether they know it or not) need us!
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